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International Women's Day

Posted on: March 08, 2022 | Back | Print

International Women's Day

The Embassy of India, Bogota, commemorates International Women's Day, in accordance with the UN message on Gender Equality Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow, with the stories of two outstanding and hard-working women who seek to highlight the importance of women in society.

Lakhimi Barwa
Lakhimi Barua is the founder of Kanaklata Mahila Cooperative Bank. After the death of her father in 1969, she dropped out of college. Later on, her husband encouraged her to study again. Lakhimi graduated in 1980 and became an account manager at the District Central Cooperative Bank. It was from here that a new life of Lakhimi started, for which she not only earned the fame in Assam but all over the nation. During her job, she noticed that poor, uneducated women of the villages and women working in the tea gardens have to wait in queue for hours to get loans. She was moved by the plight of these women. On reaching the counter, they would have to return empty-handed due to the incomplete documents. Taking inspiration from this, she formed a Mahila Samiti in Jorhat in 1983 and started the Kanaklata Mahila Cooperative Bank in 1990. She had to struggle for 8 years for registration. The bank which is now more than two decades old has 4 branches, having around 45,000 account holders. Only women get employment in the bank. The Government of India has honored Lakhimi Barua with the Padma Shri award in 2021.

Cruz Helena Valencia
Leader of the Innovation Girl project in Quibdó, Chocó, who will soon complete her law degree. In 2018, she knew the School of Robotics in her city, Quibdó, and she realized that the participation of girls was minimal, it was not long-lasting and it did not meet goals. From this approach, she became aware of the stigma that women "are not trained to work in" science and technology, added to the high rates of violence that displaces young people in the region. Getting trainers and teach science and technology was a lesson of social construction in the region. “The robotics program made it possible to defeat the stigma that women are not good for science and technology. Gender stigmas that limited their intellectual and economic capacities.” Currently, 300 women have approached innovation and, with science and technology, have created solutions to overcome problems in their communities throughout the Colombian Pacific.